Path to the Future | Kent State University

Path to the Future

Kent State University is developing a strategic roadmap that will enable it to move boldly in new directions and distinguish itself not only in Northeast Ohio but around the world. 

Photography by Bob Christy '95 and Jeff Gliden '87

Students walk on the Esplanade

"We are on a journey to craft a shared vision, says Kent State University President Beverly Warren, as she embarks this fall on a Forums for the Future tour of all eight campuses to report on the strategic visioning process that began in March. “Where we are today is a result of more than 10,000 responses—in-person and electronic—from Kent State students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who, throughout the year, took part in community dialogues, research focus groups and survey assessments to help us explore the best vision and future for Kent State University.”

“This whole process of visioning has brought the university together,” says Melody Tankersley, PhD, senior associate provost and co-chair of the 15-member Strategic Visioning and Advisory Committee that was appointed by President Warren to help her direct, assess and evaluate the findings. “So many people contributed their ideas, their vision, their voices,” says Tankersley. “That enabled us to say, ‘Here is what we have been hearing over and over. This is what is critical to who Kent State is and where we are going.’” 

Using the findings—including an environmental assessment done under the direction of the university’s partner in the visioning process, 160over90, a consulting firm from Philadelphia—Warren and the committee began to frame a distinctive vision, articulate the university’s core values and establish a set of proposed priorities for the coming years. 

This September the Board of Trustees endorsed the university’s new vision statement and a draft of its core values and strategic priorities—presented on the following pages and on the strategic visioning website (, which includes an overview of the university’s strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results. 

“As we refine and reflect upon these proposed core values and priorities, we ask for your continued feedback and insights,” says Warren. “We are committed to the concept of ‘one university.’ My hope is that as we complete our strategic roadmap, we will create a common language that does not include terms like ‘main campus’ and ‘regional campuses,’ but reflects the fact that you can thrive and be a part of Kent State wherever you reside in this wonderful community. To do that we need everyone’s input. 

“It is critical to develop a common narrative that all members of the Kent State community can use to tell a compelling and authentic story of who we are, what we stand for and where we want to be.”

Students gather outside the student center

"We must be courageous and creative as we bring to life a shared vision for our future—a vision that honors our past as it defines a new era of influence and involvement, and a vision that helps us to boldly and clearly share our remarkable story with the world."—President Beverly Warren

Kent State students visit Pisa, Italy

Our Vision

To be a community of change agents whose collective commitment to learning sparks epic thinking, meaningful voice and invaluable outcomes to better our society 

Researcher at Kent State

Core Values*

We value

  • A distinctive blend of teaching, research and creative excellence
  • Active inquiry and discovery that expands knowledge and human understanding
  • Life-changing educational experiences for students with wide-ranging talents and aspirations
  • A living-learning environment that creates a genuine sense of place
  • Engagement that inspires positive change
  • Diversity of culture, beliefs, identity and thought
  • Freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas
  • A collaborative community
  • Respect, kindness and purpose in all we do 
Strategic Priorities*

Students First
Provide an inclusive and engaged living-learning environment where students thrive and graduate as informed citizens and productive leaders

A Nationally Distinctive and Distinguished Kent State
Drive innovation, idea generation and national distinction through top-tier academic and research programs and the recruitment and development of talented faculty and staff

Globally Competitive
Advance Kent State’s contributions as an international university that prioritizes the cultural competency of students, faculty and staff 

Regional Impact
Serve as an innovative engine for the region and state through partnerships and programs that contribute to the quality of life for Ohioans

Excellence in Stewardship
Ensure future growth and vitality through the strategic management of fiscal resources and infrastructure 

*Your feedback on these proposed values and priorities is welcome. Please email or send us your feedback at

Students laugh together

Back to Fall 2015